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Terry Riley's Shocking MAM Departure

Miami Art Museum Director Terry Riley shocked the art world with his decision—effective immediately—to leave the institution he’d called home for four years. “You are either on the horse or off the horse,” Riley explained. “I will make sure the transition is smooth, but for fiscal reasons it’s better to be on or off.” Prior to joining MAM as it began a $220 million building project slated to be completed in 2013, Riley served as chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art. Four years into the project, however, Riley deemed this the “perfect” time to leave. “The design is on target, and we have a good team in place in terms of the project manager,” he said, noting that he will stay on as a consultant and adviser in the building project. Ultimately, Riley plans to return to his own architectural practice, K/R, with co-founder John Keenen, with upcoming projects in China and Mexico. “There’s a longing to go back,” he said. “I love working with architects, but I’ve always missed working as an architect.”